An icebreaker is a simple activity that helps connect people. They foster tiny, but important interactions that build rapport.
Research has confirmed that the connections icebreakers help build are valuable. They help lay the foundation for more effective meetings. They remove barriers that come from a lack of familiarity. They nurture psychological safety. The fewer such barriers, the greater the level of trust, safety and, therefore, productivity.
Good icebreakers follow the 3E Rule, they are Easy, Enjoyable and Explainable. They give everyone in the room a chance to say something without the pressure of having to be right.
Icebreakers are a chance to have fun. They do not have to be connected with the meeting at all. They can be creative, clever, silly or any combination of the three. The main thing is, they are inclusive so everyone in the group is invited to contribute and could easily respond.
Icebreakers are the perfect activity to help people get to know each other. They are really valuable for people who’ve not worked together before. They are a great way to start retrospectives for new teams, or teams with new members.
Icebreakers can be the difference between a good meeting and a great one. That’s why we’ve shared all sorts of examples of Quick But Effective Icebreakers to Launch Your Next Retrospective.